Cambodia Investment Review

Mengly J. Quach Education Drives Cambodia’s Educational Growth By Ongoing Economic Expansion Plan in 2024 & Beyond

Mengly J. Quach Education Drives Cambodia’s Educational Growth By Ongoing Economic Expansion Plan in 2024 & Beyond

Harrison White

Mengly J. Quach Education (MJQE), the parent company of Aii Language Center (Aii), American Intercon School (AIS) and Study Overseas Go Overseas (SOGO), has positioned itself as a cornerstone in Cambodia’s education sector, emphasizing long-term growth and addressing the evolving needs of the country’s students. Founded in 2005 by Neak Oknha Dr. Mengly J. Quach, the institution has become synonymous with quality education, discipline, and services. This dedication is reflected in its consistent use of high-quality learning programs aimed at making a significant impact on the younger generation.

In the fragmented landscape of Cambodia’s private education sector, MJQE stands out. While the capital city, Phnom Penh, hosts 776 private schools offering general education, many are small, single-location entities serving local neighborhoods. Only a few institutions boast thousands of enrollments across multiple campuses. MJQE, with its robust infrastructure and expansive reach, is a notable exception.

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AIS business model is designed to provide affordable, high-quality education, with school fees ranging from $1,500 to $2,200. The company’s growth is being driven by Cambodia’s growing middle and upper middle-class populations, driven by two decades of sustained economic growth. As the demand for quality education rises, particularly in preschool and kindergarten sectors, MJQE is well-positioned to meet these needs. Due to the increasing demand for foreign language education, particularly in English and Chinese, Aii offers students a variety of ways to learn new skills through various programs. 

Impact of Economic Climate on Education

Cambodia has experienced strong economic growth over the past two decades, averaging an annual growth rate of 7+ percent. This expansion, driven by tourism, manufacturing exports, real estate, and construction, has positioned Cambodia among the fastest-growing economies globally. Achieving lower middle-income status in 2015, Cambodia now aims to become an upper middle-income economy by 2030 and a higher-income economy by 2050. This economic trajectory has significantly impacted various sectors, including education, which is crucial for sustaining and accelerating growth.

The Cambodian government has prioritized education, increasing the national budget allocated to this sector. Recognizing the importance of education in human resource development, the government has long introduced various incentives, including tax exemptions for private educational institutions. This strategic focus underscores the belief that an educated and skilled workforce is essential for achieving the country’s long-term economic goals. The government also encourages private sector participation in education, particularly in technical and vocational training, ensuring a steady supply of competent human resources.

Aii Campus in Siem Reap, Cambodia.

In this context, MJQE has emerged as a pivotal player in shaping Cambodia’s educational landscape. By working with the Royal Government, MJQE aims to produce quality human resources aligned with the future workforce needs of the nation. “Our initiatives are not only contributing to the improvement of education standards but also providing employment opportunities to our current employees,” said Neak Oknha Dr. Mengly J. Quach. MJQE’s role is instrumental in addressing the challenges posed by the current economic climate, ensuring that the education sector can adapt and thrive amidst these conditions.

Strategic Directions for the Future

As Cambodia enters the next decade, its education system faces a pivotal moment, requiring more investment and reform to meet the demands of a global workforce. Despite economic progress, there are still some inadequate government schools, with student performance in essential subjects like reading and mathematics falling below age-appropriate standards. Under the leadership of Hang Chuon Naron, the Ministry of Education has launched an ambitious 8-point plan to overhaul the system. This strategy prioritizes accountability, funding, infrastructure, and modern teaching methods nationwide, with a special emphasis on digital education and science and technology enhancements.

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MJQE’s future strategy is anchored in the core principles of Quality, Discipline, and Services. These values guide every initiative, ensuring that MJQE maintains high standards across all its campuses. The organization’s mantra, “One Culture, One System, One Reputation,” reflects its commitment to a unified and cohesive educational experience.

To meet the growing demand for quality education, MJQE plans to expand its reach by opening new campuses annually. By December 2023, MJQE had established 20 campuses, with additional sites in Choam Chao, Toul Sangkae, Chamkar Doung, and a new building for Aii CCV under development. Renovations to existing facilities, such as QLH Tower and LKN Tower, are also underway.

Looking ahead, MJQE’s expansion plans are set to accelerate, with major construction projects scheduled for the coming years. New campuses are expected to be launched in Kambol and Prek Phnov in 2025, followed by expansions to Kampong Cham, Sihanoukville, and Toul Kork in 2026. By 2027, MJQE aims to establish campuses in Prek Anchanh, Battambang, and Toul Pongro. “Our strategic initiatives aim to meet the rising demand for education and reinforce MJQE’s position as a leading educational institution in Cambodia,” said Neak Oknha Dr. Mengly J. Quach. These efforts contribute to the nation’s broader educational and economic development, ensuring that MJQE remains at the forefront of Cambodia’s educational advancement.

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